On Thursday, September 20, 2023, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America warmly received the President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, at the Archdiocese Headquarters. This marks the President’s inaugural official visit to the United States in his capacity as the elected leader of Cyprus.
Archbishop Elpidophoros welcomed the President of Cyprus, congratulated him on his election, and stated that the hopes of Hellenism rest on him, wishing him the blessing of the Lord to bring the good days in Cyprus. “The pain of Cyprus is pain for all Hellenism.”
In his response, the President of Cyprus said: “I certainly couldn’t be in New York without visiting you. Taking into account the timeless role that the Archdiocese plays, especially in the USA, which constitutes the connecting link for our Diaspora. As you know very well, we rely (on our Diaspora to support us) in our effort to end the Turkish occupation and (to achieve the) reunification of Cyprus. Forty-nine years is way too many.
“At the same time, despite the difficulties and problems, we do not forget, and this effort will only end when that blessed hour of reunification arrives.”
Following their meeting, the Archbishop commented, “Receiving President Christodoulides was a profound honor. We discussed our ongoing collaboration with the Cypriot community in the US, a community enriched by its distinguished members and steadfast supporters of our Church. I expressed our Church’s and the Hellenic American community’s unwavering commitment to the President’s efforts for a just resolution for Cyprus—one that aligns with numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions and international law, ensuring the preservation of fundamental freedoms and human rights for all.”
Furthermore, Archbishop Elpidophoros and President Christodoulides explored the Archdiocese’s proposal to renovate the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Archdiocese in Astoria and name it “House of Cyprus.” In partnership with Cypriot organizations, this venue aims to spotlight the history and culture of Cyprus, introducing it to Greeks in America and the broader New York community.
Accompanying Mr. Christodoulides were Ms. Philippa Karsera – First Lady, Mr. Konstantinos Letympiotis, Government Spokesperson, Mr. Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Evangelos Savva – Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States of America, Mr. Marios Lysiotis, Diaspora Commissioner, Mr. Doros Venezis – Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President and Mr. Michalis Firillas – Consul General of Cyprus in New York.